Our Earth Day event last year in Beddington Park, near Sutton
Thanks to my sis for filming/editing/ producing this video 🙂
Our Earth Day event last year in Beddington Park, near Sutton
Thanks to my sis for filming/editing/ producing this video 🙂
Earth Hour .. only a few weeks to go.. Saturday 29th March.
We have our annual open event in Central London! In the past I have facilitated a Candle-lit walk along the river Thames. This time, we are simply gathering in one spot – outside the Tate Modern Gallery (there are some patches of green area..with trees!! That is where we had our outdoor event in October’13)
So come and join me and my Eco-friends ..from about 7.3pm onwards.. for meeting & greeting..and socialising. And around 8.30pm, when the actual Earth Hour begins.. we will gently go into a small meditation, followed by an Eco-Ceremony (may last abut 20-3omins). Then we shall continue with socials, an outdoor Picnic and merriment..
I feel it important, that while so many of us care about the Earth and eco-causes, and fight ever day to resolve make the problems of our World, we also must create time for being Happy, to connect with like-minded humans, strengthen our ties, power up one another’s motivations and spread hope – that the World will get better!!
Those will be the focus of the Ceremony. So people of any and all religions & faiths welcome.
There are no protests, no campaigns…no slogans.. Only a few evening hours of total positivity & peace.
All I ask is that those who come do so with an open & tolerant mind, and with peace & harmony in their hearts.
This is a family-friendly event. So do bring your small children .(wrap up warm though! It gets cold by the open spaces of the river Thames).
Do bring picnic food & drinks to share ..:-)
ps. Earth Day (22nd April) & World Peace Day (21st Sept) – we also organise a Family Picnic for these. So follow this blog, or keep an eye on my websites for details of those other events! 🙂 )
Links to my related websites/ communities
When the Pagan Federation discontinued its National Conferences after the one of 2004, many wondered what will happen. Many of the districts of the PF began to hold local district conferences. Following suit, PF London also held its district conference in 2007. Instead of calling it just a district conference, I took the initiative (as the then PFL Event Manager) and gave it a name and an identity – `Gaia3 convention’ and a tag-line, `Earth, Environment, Kinship’, for that’s what the Convention was all about! This was done to bring additional awareness to ecological matters, because I had observed, at the time, that pagans in London seem to talk a lot of honouring and worshiping the Earth and natural world, but didn’t seem to put the kind of emphasis on such ecological matters – that far less earth-centred companies or other non-pagan groups were doing. It was crazy that there had never been an Earth-themed conference of any sort – not at least in the previous 12-15 years (to my knowledge).
I was new to convention organising, but did my best, with the help of the PFL Events Team and my District Manager Jean Williams! PF London didn’t have more than a few hundred pounds of funds, so an idea was conjured up – to seek temporary `loans’ of small amounts (£25-£50 ) per person from willing volunteers of the pagan community. And we raised over £500 – enough to put a deposit for the hiring of a large hall at ULU (University of London Union). The PF itself saw our efforts and gave us an equal amount as a loan also. Needless to say, we had a good ticketed turn-out of attendance, and covered all costs, and paid all the people back their `loans’. It was all informally and efficiently done. In essence, it was a Convention funded by the people!
At Gaia3 convention of 2007, we had several interactive features, such as a `Wyrd-Wall’, `Walking Witches & Wizards’ and `Pandora’s Box’. In the first, convention goers tied a small string with their thoughts/ intents, onto a `wall’ to make a random and complex web of strings. (These were used in the 4th Convention in `Wyrd-i’ in 2010). The Walking Witches were Stewards who went around befriending new comers and making them comfortable, and the Pandora’s box was a feed-back box ( a reverse of the concept!). There was also the `Copper exchange’ where each person had 5 small coins (1 penny coins) and through out the day, each person would `exchange’ his or her coins with another convention-goer. All coins were collected and magically committed to the river Thames at the end of the Convention. It symbolised the exchange of energies (and a reason to interact with one another).
There followed 2 further annual conventions. In 2008, we had the `Gaia-Fortuna Convention’ probably another first (using a double-barrel name of 2 Goddesses). It took place around the Autumn (harvest) time, and concentrated on Harvest and good Fortunes; The 3rd in the series was at Midsummer in 2009, and suitably named `Gaia-Sol convention’ , with a focus of integrating the masculine fiery energy of the Sun wit Gaia.
Year 4 saw the idea of kinship and interconnectedness evolve- and there was only one way it possibly have moved towards – to the concept of Wyrd. This is the magical web of Fates that connect all of us. So it was called `Wyrd-i convention’. People asked me what the `i’ stood for, and wondered if it meant the roman numeral 1? Maybe, or maybe it stands for `imagination’, because creative imagination is key to the working of magic!
Last year, there were no Gaia-related conventions, because the Pagan Federation held a national major conference in London to celebrate its 40th anniversary! However, last year, on the new moon of Aquarius (star sign with humanitarian qualities), we finally formed `Gaian Times’, to continue the magical and sociological work initiated by the Gaia Conventions.
Below are a full list of Speakers, Experts, Workshop facilitators and Performer – who participated in the 3 Gaia conventions, and supported its objectives.
Contributions to Gaia3 Convention 2007
|Adrian Harris & Jacqui Woodward Smith||Opening Attunement|
|Jean Williams.||Talk||What’s special about the PF?|
|Christina Oakley||Talk||Magical London in the Victorian, Edwardian and Inter-War Years of the Twentieth Century|
|Jacqui Woodward Smith & Hilde||Workshop||The Sacred in the City- workshop|
|Jack Gale||Talk||Shamanism, Gardening and the Earth Spirits|
|JOHN CROW||performance & talk||Urban Shamanism- Goose and Crow and the Cross Bone Portal|
|Adrian Harris||talk||Us and Them: Listening to the more-than-human majority|
|Ric Kemp||talk||The Deer Goddess|
|Orianna & Indigo||workshop||Court cards- Tarot|
|Alan & Mani||workshop||Drumming workshop|
|`Temple of the Four winds’||Closing Ritual|
Contributions to Gaia-Fortuna Convention 2008
|Caroline Wise||Opening/ talk||Fortuna Opening Ceremony & Talk’|
|Kenneth Rees||Talk||35 years and counting! – positive changes in the pagan/witchcraft communities since the 1970s|
|Vivianne Crowley||talk||Goddess Fortuna|
|Mark McCann||workshop||Making friends with fortune: how to weave the thread of fate and change your destiny|
|Sascha||talk, demo and mini-workshop||Gothic Bellydance (Raqs Gothique!)-|
|Hilde||workshop||Spirit in the City – The Earth We Walk On|
|Marielle||workshop||Ritual Dance within the Temple|
|Caroline Robertson||Talk||“All Acts Of Love And Pleasure Are My Rituals”|
|Mark Jeoffroy||Talk/poetry||The Poet as Magician|
|Bachus Border Morris||Performance|
|Ed & April Richardson||workshop||Sounding the Runes|
|Meredith||Talk with video clips||‘Gods of the Future?’|
|Michael Bingas||Talk||HISTORY MYSTERIES|
|Jacqui||workshop||The Bee Goddess: the Hive of Community and Justice in the Workplace|
|John Constable aka John Crow||Talk/Performance||The Goose, The Crow and the Cross Bones Portal|
|Geraldine Beskin||Talk||Aleister Crowley|
|Phyllis Pointer||Talk||‘Hoodoo, The Blues and Robert Johnson|
|Hern’s Tribe & Tribe of Avalon||Closing Ceremony|
Contributions to Gaia-Sol Convention 2009
|Tribe of Avalon & Jacqueline Anne Woodward-Smith||Opening ceremony|
|Jeanette Ellis||Talk||The Stag Horned God’|
|Steve Wilson||Talk||Paganism and Sex’|
|Emma Restall Orr||Talk||Paganism in a Modern World’|
|Chris Crowley||Talk||Myths and legends of Midsummer’|
|members of the PF committee||Presentation||PF: “Story Time: How the PF Bug Got Me.”|
|Simon Michel||Workshop||‘Dancing hands, dancing drums|
|Neeraj Davis.||Meditation||Chakra sounds meditation’|
|Bacchus Border Morris||performance & workshop|
|Marielle Holman||workshop||Gaia, the Goddess of nourishment and Earthiness’|
|Sasha Cooper||workshop||`Getting in touch with your inner Goddess/God through Gothic Bellydance’|
|`WolfTurtle’ (Mani) & Friends||Closing Ritual|
Gaian Times calls these wonderful individuals, to support the work of Gaian Times, and contribute feature articles, and share with us their ongoing Earth-centred works.
(c) Mani Navasothy. Gaian Times. January 2012,
(The above is an extract from the January 2012 (issue#3) of Gaian Times e-Magazine)
News is circulating on the internet platforms, that the Pagan Federation has made an appeal against the rejection by Charity Commission (UK). The website www.ThirdSector.co.uk has reported the news that Pagan Federation is appealing against the Charity Commission’s decision to reject the Pagan Federation’s application.
“The Charity Commission rejected the federation’s application in October, arguing that it did not fulfil the ‘essential characteristics’ of a religion or its criteria for public benefit…..
…..The commission rejected the federation’s application for charitable status in October. It said it did not consider that the federation fulfilled the essential characteristics of a religion or its criteria for public benefit….”
I was aware that the Pagan Federation had been rejected in its application to seek Charity Status the first time (years ago), and another application was being prepared by the Pagan Federation some while ago (December 2010). I was contacted by the Vice President of the Pagan Federation for some information on the Ope Rituals I was managing in London for Pagan Federation since December 2004. The VP’s request concerned outlines of whether the Pagan Federation asks for payment for these open rituals, are people let in free if they don’t have money and so on. I suppose it was about showing evidence of how the Pagan Federation serves the general public.
A simple research on the Charity Commission’s website will show anyone that for an entity to be recognised as a Charity, it needs to show that the entity’s activities must be benefiting the public (`for the benefit of the public’ ). The Charity Commissions’ website gives several examples of `Objects’ (Objectives) which satisfy this requirement. Categories such as `advancement of religion’, `advancement of education’, `advancement of arts, culture, heritage or Science’ are some examples. I have been researching all these several years ago, when I was preparing to create Gaian Times – the eco-spiritual organisation (initially as a not-for-profit Company limited by Guarantee – very much like The Pagan Federation has been since year 2000).
I am only guessing here – with my knowledge being specific to the Pagan Federation’s usual activities and organisational structure, it’s Constitution, its documentations at Companies House where any companies are registered (free for all to view), and my own research of Charity commission application guidelines. I suppose the problem that the Pagan Federation may have faced could have been in demonstrating how its existing practices, activities and Constitutions are serving the general public (bearing in mind it was created to be a campaigning organisation `to promote and defend the pagan traditions’ – which is applicable to a specific community (although it could be said that anyone who wanted to know about Paganism can enter it and benefit from it).
Reading the online reporting at ThirdSector website, I found the following passage to be rather worrying.
“..Winder said winning charitable status could give the federation the legitimacy and recognition of being one of the official religions of the British Isles…”
Why am I worried? Well, in the first instance, I do hope that this online reporting is a journalist hash-job of taking full explanations given by the Pagan Federation Officer and reducing it to a short quote, where valuable information is lost, as well as sentences become `out of context’. Otherwise this quote does not make sense. Why?
Because The Pagan Federation is not and never has been nor ever will be – a religion! The Pagan Federation is an organisation that campaigns for pagan traditions, for pagan religions, for pagan people’s rights just as other people have their rights.
If The Pagan Federation did indeed apply to become a Charity on the basis of it being a religion, of course it is not going to succeed in its charity status for that reason. I am aware that recently the Druid Network gained Charity Status – (No: 1138265 – THE DRUID NETWORK). Their primary activities are stated as, “INFORMING, INSPIRING AND FACILITATING DRUIDRY AS A RELIGION”. Now this is quite clever statement. It does not say Druidry IS a religion, or that the Druid Network is a Religion. Rather its activity is `Informing, inspiring and facilitating..’ a particular product…where the product being `Druidry as a religion’ – which implies…its campaigning Druidry as a religion. (It does not claim it already is). Furthermore, it does not seem to limit this campaigning (ie informing, inspiring and facilitating..) to a particular group or community. Anyone – general public- can be informed, inspired and facilitated to!
I am not sure exactly what wordings were used in the Pagan Federation’s Charity status application – but I do fear that appealing on the grounds of definitions of what a religion is, and how paganism fits into all that is a long and winding road – can be full of many challenges.
It is my suggestion that the Pagan Federation convenes a big ol’ committee meeting / Directors meeting/ members meeting to debate and discuss changes as follows..
I have been a member of the Pagan Federation for 15+ years, and been actively serving it for 8 years- organising those rituals, conventions, socials, picnics.. until few months ago. And though some `new radical elements’ within it now seem to have a hobby of attacking and bullying me in online platforms, I still have the best wishes and growth for the Pagan Federation. I think I promised a few Wiccan Elders that I would.
ps. A few minority fail to understand that a personal blog is all about the person discussing, debating, offering views and generally being `personal’. This one is one of my personal broadcasting channels (my other platform is Gaian2012 – youtube channel). That reminds me, soon, I will be discussing (under Esoteric Enterprises) how everyone can and should utilize similar online-tools.
Here’s a teaser cover of the August issue of Gaian Times- features articles include `Promethian Legacy: The Olympian God who brought fire to mankind; Paganism in the 25th Century; Disability-Bionics & Paganism…and more!
Cover features Promethius bringing the secret of fire and giving it to Gaia, and about to suffer the wrath of Zeus.
Out on 4th August 2012.
And here it is – issue#3, just out!!
The first issue of Gaian Times e-magazine – and the e stands for both electronic and ecology – came out in June 2011.
Gaian Times e-magazine explores the Science, Magic, Arts, Psychology and Social trends – among many other eco-centric subjects. Is there such a word? Eco-centric? I have been using it for a while now. Anyway GT offers thought-provoking articles, features, information on Eco events and initiatives, other charitable bodies and campaigns. GT also has counselling & psychology related columns- social observations and commentary really, by several regular writers (April Jonquil, Rose Dixon, Antara, Kelly).
Of course many others have already contributed articles / features – Marcus, Reggie, Hazel’O, Pete
GT magazine was a natural progression to the 3 Gaian Conventions that I had created and managed for Pagan Federation London between 2007-1009.
Oh, almost forgot to say – Gaian Times is also a not for profit Company Ltd by Guarantee. Well, I like to call it an `organisation’ that is growing..
This year, am planning to focus quite a bit of my attention on Gaian Times. So watch this space.